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Grayson-Keaton Wedding Celebration!

The magnificent ballroom, unveiled by the wide-open grand ivory and gilt double doors that welcome all who wish to enter on this joyous day, is transformed into a realm of enchantment and splendor. Soft ambient lighting casts a warm glow throughout the room, accentuating the refined beauty of the decorations. Candlelight dances upon gilded candelabras placed strategically around the room, casting flickering shadows and creating an intimate ambiance.

Verdant green, shimmering gold, and delicate champagne silver place settings elegantly contrast the crisp ivory silk and lace of the tablecloths. At the center of each table, a graceful oak sapling stands tall, symbolizing the strength and enduring nature of love. Adorned with clusters of ethereal edelweiss, vibrant gladiolus, fragrant myrtle, and delicate honeysuckle, the saplings are transformed into living works of art. The intertwining branches bear witness to the b formed on this auspicious occasion, promising growth, prosperity, and everlasting devotion.

The head table, commanding attention at the forefront of the room, boasts an even more splendid display. Behind it, a magnificent tapestry unfurls, depicting the proud banners of House Grayson and House Keaton. The vibrant colors and intricate detailing bring to life the noble heritage and new alliance between the two Houses.


May 13, 2023, 8 p.m.

Hosted By

Keely Kael Aconite


Alis Lark Kastelon Denica Mattheu Tesha Ian Natalia Aindre Jaerith Delia Edris Medeia Vandorean Ann Symonesse Jaenelle Lou Eirene Esme Ripley


Grayson Keaton Whisper


Arx - Ward of the Crown - Whisper House - Elysian Ballroom

Largesse Level


Comments and Log


The wedding was a beautiful celebration of love, uniting two souls in a moment of pure joy and hope for the future.

Sis, a redheaded morning person arrives, following Natalia.

2 Telmarine Guards have been dismissed.

Arriving together, Alis and Edris are but one of many waiting in line to be received into the room for a moment. And so she takes the time to straighten some of the fabric tucked into the halter of her gown, and twist the stylized gauntlet on her arm. This is /important/ and she intends to look the part this evening. Beside her, of course, is Edris with that perfect hair of his and she leans in to whisper something to him just as one of the Whispers greets them to guide them towards the family table where they can settle in and begin the socializing and feasting.

Please note that the actual marriage ceremony between Princess Keely Grayson and Marquis Kael Keaton was conducted as a more intimate affair at the Shrine of Limerance earlier in the day. It was lovely and uneventful and exceptionally traditional. None of this is likely surprising for those that know the bride and groom.

Kael and Keely Keaton are working on making their way over to Whisper House from the shrine itself, partaking in their own symbolic ceremony. Children and other volunteers have taken lengths of ribbon and string to cross the path of the newlyweds. These ribbons are meant to represent the challenges that they will face through the course of their marriage and, of course, in unison the pair are cutting through them.

They are coming, they are just _slow_. Luckily with the assistance of Whisper House, there are plenty of staff on hand to ensure that guests are greeted and seated properly.

Lark does not attend in any variation of Grayson greens or grays. She wears red, and it's... hardly understated. The sleeveless gown shows off the toned slenderness of her arms, and the fabric glitters prettily as she moves in it. Those who garner her immediate attention are few. And she doesn't smile, but her expression remains soft and pleasant enough. Perfectly approachable! Full disclosure, she has quietly enlisted the service of a few well-dressed courtiers to politely course-correct anyone undesirable from _actually_ approaching her. Undesirable? Their word, not hers! But, yes, it does follow a carefully defined metric. --where you goin, lil buddy? Have you tried one of the hors d'oeuvres? They're on the other side of the room, let's walk there together.

It goes without saying that Kastelon is present - would he miss his cousin's wedding? No, no he would not. Though, to say the same, he is also as festive as... well, as festive as -he- gets. Which is to say that he is wearing formal attire, but the jaunty hat of his is ever-present, and he has taken care to put on a 'formal eyepatch' as well for the occasion. Nor seems he to mind his cousin - cousinS, given the union, now - being late, but rather that he lingers closer to the door on guard, given history. Best place to keep an eye (especially having but the one).

Aco's already here. After making a loop of the ballroom, the Radiant Whisper settles into her seat.

In the receiving room, Apprentices and Whispers are already helping to host the Wedding Party and take any cloaks that may be offered.

Ico arrives, following Vandorean.

Vandorean arrives, following Delia.

Ico have been dismissed.

It's the perfect day for a celebration and its joy is what makes the day so. A sparkle of sincere happiness brightens Denica's vivid blue eyes. They shine wide with wonder as the raven-haired woman enters into the ballroom with an easy and confident stride. In the company of her assistants, one escorts the princess in while the other is carrying a verdant green wrapped box with an eruption of black ribbons. The short Thraxian wears a slender-cut strapless gown that shimmers with crackled silver beads, it glints with each step. Seeing the waiting line forming, Denica makes her way in that direction. A flash of a smile graces her lips each time she passes someone she knows and murmurs cheerful hellos.

It's a colorful entourage between Archduchess Jaenelle, Princess Ann, Lady Medeia, with Lord Mattheu Rivenshari following along carrying a chest of equal covering of colors in various silks. Mattheu looks to Princess Ann with a smile which is held for Jaenelle and Medeia, he looks to have been carrying the chest for a ways as it is hoisted to his shoulder with small lean to his right. The bells upon his clothing sing out with every step, wearing the full number allowed for position within the Rivenshari clan. Every step is accompanied with soft song. The chest is rested to his side as they enter the ballroom, settling to find a spot where the group can claim as theirs and mingle with others.

Lady Tesha Telmar had arrived without guards and without a guest. She was just happy to come and quietly support things. It was a good occasion to do so. The one eyed red head is lead to her table and she takes a seat until the bride and the groom appear. She is quiet, but accepts a drink when it is offered to her. A bit of a look around to enjoy the decor is given and she greets the people that she knows.

What Ian is doing at a social event like this one is anyone's guess, except that he almost certainly didn't just get lost and wander in, because he's wearing what are probably his nicest clothes. Which isn't to say that his clothes are especially nice, but at least they're not patched or wrinkled. Or armor. They even fit him well enough that it's likely a tailor was involved at some stage of his acquiring them. The way he lingers near the door, though, keeping himself very much on the edge of things, makes it clear that he knows how little he belongs, and that ambivalence also keeps anyone from approaching him to escort him somewhere. Except maybe away from Lark, depending on how zealous her attendants are.

Natalia was able to cross town at a much brisker pace than those whose way has been barred by ribbons, and so she's already nicely settled in at some out of the way spot, sitting with a gaggle of Elwood's people she's drug into town (including her daughter, whose manners are perfect). She has a drink, and she's talking quietly with Elaine and Sis, watching the arrivals and staying out of the way. If anyone looks in her direction they are offered a polite smile that does not encourage approaching her.

If he isn't precisely on time for something, Aindre Grayheart is usually early and it does not seem as if much has changed with him in /that/ regard, arriving a little prior to the celebration, dressed in his best and with Queen Symonesse Grayson on his arm, the conversation between them kept between quiet words and the occasional quiet laugh. He stops to engag with the Whispers no doubt greeting the guests, and more importantly, to present Symonesse to them while he wears a pleasant smile and listens on and when the pair of them finally manage to move deeper into the ballroom where the heart of the party beats, he can probably be heard telling her, "Oh, they've really outdone themselves on this one..", as he pulls her along to find some seating, and probably also to mingle a little along the path to doing so.

Clink, clink come the boot-heels of Jaerith, looking quite pleased at the recent mirth and celebration to be had, amiable smiles and waves all around as he is corralled to a table despite his entirely unmatrimonial attire.

Alis has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Jaerith has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Delia Whisper and Lord Vandorean Laurent step into the magnificent Elysian Ballroom with Delia's hand resting on Vandorean's arm. Delia, radiant as ever, has donned an exquisite gown of midnight blue velvet adorned with delicate silver embroidery that shimmered under the crystal chandeliers. Her fiery red locks are intricately braided and adorned with silver filigree, cascading elegantly down her back. Beside her, Lord Vandorean stands tall and resplendent in a tailored black evening suit. A silver waistcoat with intricate patterns add a touch of sophistication, complementing the gleaming silver cufflinks that fastened his pristine white shirt. The pair continue in, speaking quietly together while they get a feel for the room.

It's utterly unsurprising Edris is wearing his best polished and buffed armor for the occasion, though thanks to Sir Audgrim's handiwork it is so beautiful it hardly seems out of place. Though the tall Elwood knight holds his customary reserve in demeanor, there's something about his being that seems lighter than usual. Understated but undeniable joy for his cousin and his new bride, perhaps. Or the excellent match for his liege. As he escorts Alis her soft words have him bowing his head to listen, with a faint smile as they follow along to the assigned table. But his dark eyes do catch on familiar faces. He offers a respectful bow of the head to Lark, and then a softer but still respectful smile to Natalia and a wink to Lady Elaine, and then a brotherly upnod to Aindre. And then he waits for Alis to get settled in her seat, and remains standing, perhaps waiting to sit as etiquette demands. Maybe, just maybe, he'll let Kael win the standing contest this time.

Edris has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Medeia has chosen to wear a fine outfit that won't scandalize the more traditional Oathlanders present. It's hardly noteworthy, and allows the lady to be an entirely proper and understated guest. She's quiet as she enters with Mattheu, Ann, and Jaenelle. There are nods to people she recognizes as she makes way to a seat.

3 Arakkoan Free Guards arrives, following Giorgio.

Vandorean notes the others wearing armor and leans over to talk to Delia. "I never thought of wearing my armor instead, perhaps I should have? It is such a chore to take on and off, though I think my cousin Lucie got around that by just wearing it all the time."

Mattheu has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Ann smiles at Mattheu once they enter the room. She's in pink as she walks in with the River Lord as well as her favorite niece the Archduchess Jaenelle and Lady Medeia. Her dress reminds one of a cherry blossom. Never would she wish to outshine the bride but this is the perfect time to wear a pretty ball gown after all and that was her goal. She stays by Mattheu's side as she moves along to find a seat. Offering smiles and waves to all that are familiar to her.

The music in the room is soft, ambient, and cheerful as guests filter in and find their seats, hors d'oeuvres and signature cocktails circling the room on trays, with other drinks available to be fetched by event staff or guests themselves at the bar. The atmosphere is kept lively and light by the experts here, and no one is -allowed- to get bored waiting for the couple. Are they late? Can you really be late to a party that doesn't start without you?

Either way, the music changes to something truly jaunty, the doors swing open, and in step Marquis Kael Keaton and the new Marquessa-Consort Keely Keaton, who has the biggest and most luminous smile she has ever smile upon her face. Her gown and veil have been bustled so there are not six feet of fabric dragging behind her, and upon the hand she has curled around the leather-adorned elbow of her new husband is a glittering star iron signet ring.

Guests are gently coaxed to rise only for the duration of the couple's trek through the room that brings them past all of the guest tables, allowing them to murmur warm and soft greetings to all of the people they know, and incline their head politely and graciously to those they do not. When they near the Queen, they pause, Keely disengaging from Kael in order to execute a graceful curtsey, and then they finally find their way to the head table at the front of the room.

When everyone is seated again, the Marquessa-Consort turns her smile out over the room and lifts her naturally gentle tones to address those gathered. While she speaks, the staff circulates and begins to serve the first course and refill drinks.

"Hello, everyone, and welcome! Thank you all so very much for coming out to attend this celebration of a new alliance between Houses Keaton and Grayson. Please do not hold off on eating, there is a -lot- of food, so please get started! The Marquis and I simply wish to say a few words, and then after dinner we have a game planned!" And then she turns it over to Kael.

Symonesse arrives on Aindre's arm and laughing, likely from one of those murmured comments that he makes as they arrive. While her dress is a resplendent showcase of ivory spidersilk and golden pearls, it does not quite match the brightness of her smile as she arrives. While it is appropriate for any noble to greet and speak with the Whispers that act as hosts, the Queen does so with real warmth and delight. Aindre almost has to pull her away from one group of Whispers else she might end up talking about spiders and cows to them for the length of the party rather than enjoying the reception. She gazes around as well, admiring the decor, but she seems more interesting in waving and nodding to their gathered friends and acquaintances. As Aindre pulls out a chair at one of the tables for her, she says to him with a joyful little grin, "I wonder what flavor of cake they'll have." Because of course she would concern herself with the cake.

Mattheu appears to be reluctant to let go of the colorful chest he carries. Standing for Marquis Kael and Marquessa-consort Keely, then offering the best flourished bow he can for the Queen while still holding onto the chest as he makes a careful swing of it back to his shoulder before standing back up. As he then seeks to the main table to hold the chest out towards the couple. "Princ... Marquessa Keely. I offer you and Marquis Kael a gift to share and enjoy within your combined houses."

3 Arakkoan Free Guards leaves, following Giorgio.

Alis greets those she knows with a warm smile, with a special incline of her head towards Aindre and Symonesse when she sees them. And when Edris settles beside her, she continues the whispered conversation with him that began while they were waiting. It's punctuated with nods of acknowledgement to those who sit with them, and of course their rise to their feet as the bride and groom enter. When both Marquis and Marquessa Consort speak, her attention shifts towards them both, and her features soften with rarely held affection for each.

Edris is acknowledged by Lark with two uninterrupted seconds of affirming eye contact. And there is, indeed, an attempt to escort Ian away from the princess's general vicinity, as well as to get him fed. The hors d'oeuvres!

Tesha looks up from her seat when Keely and Kael come in and there's a bit of a smile from the woman. She gives a nod at the words. But news of a game is not surprising! However it makes the Telmarcher scoot down a little bit in her seat. The last time she participated she almost fell, but they also won, so she wasn't wanting to take up a spot. She simply sips her drink and makes quiet conversation at her table.

There are a few figures that Kastelon recognizes as they come in - Her Majesty the Queen and her escort, of course, but cousins and others of close relation, who get a mindful brush of his fingertips to the brim of that hat. The faintest hint of a smile towards Kael and Keely when they've spoken their bit, before it fades - his face, indeed, might break were it to linger.

Symonesse has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Aindre has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

True to her word Ann has not left Mattheu's side when he presents that colorful chest to the newly wedded couple. Offering them a smile and a bow of her head and a quiet, "Congratulations on your special day." Once the gift is received she will continue on with Mattheu.

"Hear, hear," Edris is happy to raise his voice in celebration, even lifting his glass. Maybe to reassure the hosts that look! Eating AND drinking will definitely be happening. It's almost boisterous, for him. But then it is back to socializing with those as the table in quiet conversation.

Medeia rises when Keely and Kael enter, her smile beaming for the pair. She gives them both a polite curtsy when they pass. It's only once the speech is given that she seeks out and accepts a drink from one of the passing servers. She then commences scanning the room, looking for... something.

Symonesse's musing about cake is cut short by the entrance of Kael and Keely. She smiles brightly at them and claps her hands as the newlyweds enter whether anyone else is clapping or not. "Well hello, my friends," is said with warmth to Alis and Edris as she settles into her chair and makes sure that the skirt of her gown is draped just right. "Gods but I love a wedding. Especially receptions. Those are my favorite because they usually have cake." She pauses for a breath and then continues, "I went to one with pie once which is -fine-, but pie doesn't really say 'wedding food' to me."

Delia leads Vandorean through the crowd over towards one of the tables, pausing here and there to exchange greetings and plesantries along the way. They are still standing when the Marquis and Marquessa-Consort arrive and pause in their trek to greet them. Delia spreads her skirts and bows her head as the Keatons pass them by. Once they have moved on, she continues on to Aconite's table. "Whisper Aconite! A pleasure to see you. Might we join you?" Once Aco has agreed, Delia joins her at her table.

An attempt by Lark's attendant to take Ian's arm meets only with air. Not that Ian darts away with any kind of speed, or even seemed to notice the man before he approached, but he's just... not there, somehow. He follows up this uncanny bit of dodging with a truly withering look. And then, horrors, he slips right past someone else like they weren't trying to get between him and the table he's chosen, still without any real sense of actually dodging. He's able to bow over his cane to Symonesse and take a seat on Aindre's other side just in time.

Delia has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Ian has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Vandorean has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Aconite rises when the celebrated Couple arrives. She curtseys as they pass and her smile blossoms brightly. Delia's arrival is met with a nod, "Please, go ahead." She invites before looking back towards the gathered people in the ballroom.

Ann has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Vandorean gives a small bow as the guests of honor arrive and then moves to take a seat as Delia talks to Aconite. "Very busy, a good turn out I must say. Though sadly I know very few people here. Glad to have Delia as my guide."

As Keely and Kael enter, Denica turns her attention towards the newly married couple and her smile brightens. There's a sense of jubilation and the young woman watches with the others as the two make their way into the ballroom. The mention of the food has her looking in that direction and then the game is announced and a thick Islander brow lifts upwards. Gloved hands rest at her side until they clasp with excitement. "Congratulations Marquessa and Marquis--," the princess echoes the sentiments being shared with the couple her smile bright for them both. Cato takes the decorated box and places it with the other gifts, adjusting a ribbon before he steps aside. Once formalities are complete, Denica looks for a table to settle at and familiar faces to find conversation with.

Though traces of amusement still persist on Kael's features given the 'obstacles' that were faced on the way over, his expression turns far more sober when they step into the crowded ballroom. Kael moves to offer the blade utilized in their path to his eldest son, Aeryn, who travels away with the blade to give it to an attendant. He'll join the Keaton entourage, though likely go and meet up with some of the younger nobles in attendance later. His manners are also exceptional (for his age), thank you.

When he walks with Keely through the room he is of course inclining his head politely to their guests, some known faces catching his eye, and of course the Highlords are each recipient of a bow. When Keely is pausing to curtsey to the Queen, Kael dips into a low bow that is held for a length of time. He rises slowly and offers his arm to Keely to continue their journey.

"Yes, thank you for joining us for our celebration," the Keaton starts in the wake of Keely's own words. "I will do my best to not be too wordy and not speak of common threats faced between the Oathlands and Crownlands, and-" Is Kael joking? It's so difficult to tell, his expression rather smooth and punctuated with a slightly humored grimace. Look at that, his expression says. He was _doing it_. Talking about work, that is. He flashes a grin to Alis at this point before turning back to those assembled and beginning anew. "So. No speaking about work for me." His throat clears. He fidgets. "Again, we wish to thank you all for coming in celebration and, we hope, that in the months and years that come, you will see the strength of the union reflected with a further strengthening of our Compact." Kael glances to Keely there to indicate that the next portion is hers. He spies Mattheu and the gift, and that has him incline his head so very deeply and offering, "Thank you," to the Rivenshari and his group.

A beaming smile is sent Kael and Keely's way as Jaerith tries to settle into his seat as best he can while being woefully underdressed for the occasion. Someone must be able to do the protecting of new members of the family, after all, but his interest is focused better still at the mention of games and almost without being aware of his, his hands rub together in anticipation of a good showing, or at least an interesting experience.

Tesha gives a smile when people continue to talk and there is a look to the members of the Keaton family that are there. Kastelon and Jaerith are given a greeting and then she gives a smile towards Keely and Kael as they are making their entrance and accepting gifts still. She also spies Ian and there is a little wave given to the Kennex Lord as well.

Alis gestures towards her eyes, and then at Kael, when he mentions not talking about work. She's got her eyes on you! All celebration today, Marquis. It is required!

Aconitechats with those at her table quietly and watches as the newly-weds receive support and gifts with a warm smile. She chuckles at somehing at her table.

Kastelon likewise returns Tesha's greeting. Kael's mention of not being overly wordy gets... the lift of an eyebrow. And its settling as well. Before he's making his way a couple of steps to the side, to be sure that others can be closer to give their welcomes to his kin.

Ian lifts one hand to Tesha in what's not quite a wave but more or less counts as a greeting. His bearing can best be described as 'trying really, really hard not to bring shame upon his family'. He doesn't wear fine manners nearly as effortlessly as old leather.

Sometimes you meet people outside of a venue and walk in together, and this is apparently how Jaenelle came to be within the ballroom walking with Mattheu, Medeia, and Ann. When Keely and Kael arrive, Jae stands as others do before moving towards the couple to speak with them. "You both look beautiful," because they do and can! "I hope you paused on your walk here at least five times debating whether you'll skip it and return home, we would hardly blame you."

Medeia moves to say hello to Tesha and Kastelon, greeting both warmly. "My lady, my lord, it is lovely that you both are here." Then, she circulates slowly, nursing her drink and being a polite, if wallflowery, guest.

Keely greets each familiar face warmly on their way through. A gentle smile is offered to Ann and Mattheu as well as a dip of her head, and an attendant steps forward to collect the gift from him so the couple may continue their greetings. Lark and Alis and Aindre and Natalia and Denica and Medeia are each given cheek kisses of greeting, Tesha and Kastelon and Edris and Ian, Vandorean and Delia and Jaerith, too!

"We also wish to thank Whisper House for hosting us, helping us to plan, and providing us their expertise in many ways throughout this process and beyond. And thanks to my beloved cousins, Princesses Lou and Lark Grayson for all that they have done to facilitate this alliance, which shall bring us all closer. This does not even begin to cover our abundance of gratitude, but we are hungry and wish to dine with you all! If you would like to come up and visit during dinner, please feel free. As I mentioned, once we are all finished there shall be a game, and then there shall be dancing. So, eat up!"

And with that, Keely is escorted to her seat at the two-person table that faces the room at large, and the second course is served.

Kastelon says, "No where else I'd be, my lady," says Kastelon to Medeia, in a tone that is - for once - very evidently sincere instead of being that more vague manner of his. Keely's greeting's accepted with a brief squeeze to her forearm when she's saying hello, and he eases back to be somewhat more out of the way. With a cup of cider. The normal, straight kind."

Jaerith eagerly returns Tesha's greeting and then the blushing bride's before listening to the itinerary, addressing the former by offering a soft smile and asking, "Lady Tesha, you seem to look lovelier every time I see you. Excited for the game as well? I'm sure you'd like another victory credited to your name."

Lark casts a subtly alarmed look around them as Keely somehow manages to make it past her guards-- err, courtiers. (How the %$#@ did this happen?) But she returns the kiss to the cheek in-kind, and touches a hand to her own heart when the newly minted Marquessa-Consort refers to her by name. She'll certainly drink a toast to that.

Now being rid of the chest which he might have carried the whole way from the Expanse to the crown's ward. Mattheu has found two plates to pile with the arrangements of Amuse-Bouche, appetizer, and main and cheese course all to sit together, much to any server's possible horror as the Rivenshari lord jingles and smiles to those he knows. Seeking to be able to sit down and enjoy the collection of food.

Stojan selects one of the signature drinks and brings it to Denica who is meandering through the different tables with an easy smile. Gloved fingers wiggle at Medeia as she makes her way. Then she sees Ian and she heads in his direction. What's happening is that princess Denica is probably looking for a team-mate for the game. She has that look in her eyes like she might be seeking a victim and or partner.

Tesha gives a smile to Medeia, "It is good to see you as well, my Lady. You look lovely." she tells her. Then there is a bit of a double take given to Jaerith when he tells her that she is lovely, "I..." she fails her composure as she blushes a bright red. "Thank you, but sadly I am going to sit this one out." she whispers to the Keaton lord.

Overwhelmed by the crowd though Ian might be, he's still aware enough of his surroundings to note Denica moving in his general direction. He nods to her, blissfully unaware that something wicked his way comes.

Alis appears to look towards the chocolate fountain speculatively. For some mysterious, nebulous reason.

In the wake of Keely's offering of gratitude, Kael is adding, "We thank the Faith of the Pantheon and we thank the gods," in that stern Oathlander way of his. Still, his lips curve into a smile and shifting his attention onward, he inclines his head toward Jaenelle. "At least five times," he tells her, just so.

That good cheer in Kael's demeanor persists as he shifts his attention to Alis - he is trying! Speaking of trying, his grin comes out in full when Kastelon raises his brow to him. There are others that the Keaton's focus lingers on, family chosen and by blood, and even familiar faces.

"Did you see Lord Kennex there?" murmurs Kael to Keely, more quietly. "Ah, there is Lady Eswynd and Lady Telmar!" Kael is definitely attempting to keep up, polite smiles offered to each.

Tesha has joined the Semi-circular Bar.

Medeia gives Denica a returned finger waggle of greeting before finding herslf right back where she was near Tesha and Kastelon. She ends up coming to a rest near the Keaton lord, joining him in being out of the way. She wonders, softly to him, "Will you be playing the game? Perhaps we could pair up?"

Willen arrives, following Lou.

Aconitesmiles and shakes her head to those at her table. Speaking softly before looking around to see who's paring up for the game. Something said at the table makes her laugh quietly.

Late. And not even fashionably so. Lou Grayson makes her way into the wedding, doing her best to stick to the walls so as not to be seen as actually arriving late. She was there ALL ALONG. Nothing to see here. Of course, people probably have missed her and been looking for her, and she's not that great at hiding. But she tries!

"Hello Ian! It's so lovely to see you here," says Denica all too nicely. Denica even has a friendly smile on her face, to mask any possible ulterior motive. The princess fails miserably, but that's okay, because she's about to ask anyhow. "It appears there will be a game tonight.," she begins once she has gotten his attention. "Keely always does the most interesting and splendid games. I think it would be rather interesting to take part in the game. Do you have a partner yet? I need a partner, would you combine forces with me?," it's very polite and to the point, though doesn't quite ask if Ian -wants- to play the game.

Greetings are offered as greetings are given. Natalia pats Keely's arm, dips her head deeply to Kael, and offers no distraction for the pair in moving further on. She thanks Sis when the other woman fetches a plate of food for her, though she eats only lightly. There's some measure of people watching, but she seems content to mostly just lend her presence to the party. There are an awful lot of people here.

Something has Symonesse giggling at the tables she's sat at and holding out a hand to Alis, as if intending to shake on some sort of agreement. She glances in the direction of the chocolate fountain at least once.

Delia speaks with Aconite and Vandorean at her table, voice kept low as to not disturb those around them. She watches the newlyweds with a soft smile on her lips, happy for them.

Vandorean gazes out over the guests at his seat at the table, he sips a glass of wine while talking with Aconite and Delia. His attention is split between that and whatever else is going on in the ballroom.

"Uh, I wasn't..." It takes Ian a moment to catch up to what Denica is saying to him, an attempt to back out of playing the game fading as he realizes that he's not actually being asked if he wants to play, he's being asked (well, told, let's be honest) to help her. "I'm... not very good at puzzles. But..." He motions to the empty chair next to him.

Lark has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Denica has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Keely giggles quietly, leaning aside to murmur something to Kael. She has not stopped smiling since they walked in, not while she chews her food, nor drinks, nor replies, "Oh yes. Do you know Lady Eswynd taught me how to dance? Beyond the old-fashioned ones we all learn growing up, I mean. Every step is attributed to her."

She peeks toward this person or that person as the third, fourth, fifth courses are served. Drinks are kept flowing, the music is kept lively, and as dessert is finally served, staff begins to circle the room, passing out little velvet bags containing jigsaw pieces.

Lou gets the lay of the land and spies where Keely and Kael are settled. She makes her way over to the couple and offers each a warm smile. "Marquis Kael, Keely," she greets with equal warmth. "I wanted to take the time to offer you congratulations and happy wishes on your wedding day." It is a simple greeting and once complete, she finds her way over to a table where she recognizes a few people and can get settled in.

Whatever it is that has Symonesse giggling with conspiratorial handshakes with the Valardin Highlord has Edris raising one dark brow. Not with disapproval. Perhaps, for a moment? There may even be somewhat of a daydreamy expression on his face before he snaps out of it. He glances towards the area of the chocolate fountain, as if gauging something, and then turns back to the table, one hand rubbing thoughtfully at his whiskers. Until he realizes he's doing that too. So that hand goes to his fork swiftly, so he can stuff a bite of the current course into his mouth.

Eirene's a piece of work in vibrant red, with her white forelocks hanging alongside her face and the rest of her salt-and-pepper hair pinned in hairsticks in a tight braid. The Riven's more in her Malvici colors today as she shows up; late. But bettter than NOT showing up at all, right? She scribbles something in the guestbook in her nearly impossible doctor's handwriting and then goes to grab a place.

"Neither am I, it will be fine!," Denica says to Ian looking both grateful and excited, her tone over-confident because nothing could go wrong, surely. Before she sits at the table, she turns to gives a curtsy to the Queen with a bright and warm smile on her face in greeting. Then she says a cheerful 'hello' to the table at large as she sits down, diverting her attention to the room at large for a moment before looking back at the table as she settles in there.

Alis is seen, of all things, winking at Edris after he's looked at that fountain over there. Surely whatever has her shaking Symonesse hand can't be all that bad or potentially disastrous right? A Highlord and the Queen! They're undoubtedly the height of propriety at all times.

Jaerith smiles and nods his head to Tesha at the reply as the puzzle pieces are passed about, flashing a smile to now-nearby Lark before inquiring with a shake of the bag, "And what say you, Your Highness? Shall we see if another Grayson-Keaton alliance will triumph in the spirit of the day?" The jovial mood of the reception seems to be infectious on his part, that and the remains of a glass or two nearby do not appear to have been hurting.

"I fear that I know not if I'm the game -type-," says Kastelon lowly to Medeia, with a nod of his head when she inquires of him, a brief glance to ensure she's seen to as to a refreshment. "But it cannot hurt, I suppose."

Eirene gets a wooden bottle filled with whiskey from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Eirene gets a healthy little oak sapling from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Kastelon gets a wooden bottle filled with whiskey from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Kastelon gets a healthy little oak sapling from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Vandorean gets a healthy little oak sapling from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

A little musical flourish fills the room, designed to draw everyone's attention before it goes silent. When it does, there is Keely standing up in her chair with that radiant smile, her delicate hands clasped before herself. Her fair cheeks and the bridge of her nose are a little rosy, which may have everything to do with the celebratory Griffin drinks she has been imbibing during dinner, as may the giggle that precedes her words.

You all have before you a little bag of puzzle pieces. But unless you work with your partner, you'll find that you only have half the picture." Dramatic pause. "When I say begin, you may dump out your puzzle pieces and begin assembling them, but the trick is that you -may not speak-. The first pair to finish their puzzle and stand up to shout it to the room wins! Is everyone ready?"

Vandorean gets a wooden bottle filled with whiskey from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Delia gets a healthy little oak sapling from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Lark regards Jaerith with a skeptical if not playful look. "It seems we shall." She answers the lord darkly, glancing around and lifting her glass just so to get the attention of one of the servers. She's gonna to need another drink.

Delia gets a wooden bottle filled with whiskey from a silk-lined chest of party favors.

Kael tilts his head to Keely, murmuring, "Did she?" before casting a glance back in the direction of Lady Eswynd curiously once more. "Then I should thank her, sometime, for you certainly have found a joy in it." He smiles to her and - after a look to Kastelon - is finally taking his first bite of food. That smile of his persists and, when Lou greets them, the Marquis is rising up and clasping arms with her, or attempting to. "Thank you," he says with a humble bow of his head. Keely is speaking though and he steps back, smiling as she begins to announce the game.

After another dramatic pause, a low drumroll begins from the band that crescendos with Keely calling out merrily, "Begin!" And with that, lively music picks up, giving a jolly backdrop to the game as people begin to scramble to assemble their puzzles.

Alis checks wits and riddles at easy. Alis is successful.

Medeia checks perception and performance at easy. Medeia is successful.

Edris checks wits and performance at easy. Edris marginally fails.

Ian checks luck and riddles at easy. Ian is successful.

Kastelon checks wits and investigation at easy. Kastelon is successful.

Delia checks wits and performance at easy. Delia is successful.

Lark checks perception and investigation at easy. Lark is successful.

Symonesse checks wits and riddles at easy. Symonesse is marginally successful.

Denica checks luck and performance at easy. Denica is successful.

Medeia looks in the general direction of Keely and Kael, having heard reference to herself. "I cannot take all the credit for the marquessa-consort's dance ability - she is a natural talent. Besides, I was /heavily/ pregnant at the time and had to instruct her from a chaise while one of my guards took my stead." To Kastelon, she offers an amused smile. "How bad can it be? You do not have to even speak! It is perfectly suited to your strengths, my lord." The teasing comes from a place of fondness.

Jaerith checks perception and performance at easy. Jaerith is successful.

Aindre checks wits and riddles at easy. Aindre is successful.

"Just be sure to take care of her," Lou says to Kael, more specifically, as she clasps his arm. She might have the air of an over protective sister-figure in those few moments their arms are clasped. She then gives him a big, warm smile, and heads over to that table to settle.

Lou has joined the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Kastelon lifts a brow to Medeia, but in the spirit of the game, he proves her right. Alas.

Mattheu checks luck and performance at easy. Mattheu is successful.

Edris finishes his course, though seems to be allowing his portions of the desserts to be distributed amongst others at the table, so chivalrously. His gaze moves back to the chocolate fountain for a moment, at least until the puzzle is poured out on the table. He sits back a little in his chair, and then scoots it forward. Just a tad. And starts trying to pick out the corner pieces. Though one of them is upside down and he doesn't even seem to notice.

Ann checks perception and investigation at easy. Ann is successful.

Vandorean checks perception and performance at easy. Vandorean is successful.

Jaerith chuckles with amusement as he upturns the bag of pieces atop the table, sparing Lark from his chatter as he picks through the little pieces. A pile for edges, a pile without, something very unlike his usual demeanor as he looks between his work and his partner.

Vandorean truly has no idea how to play this game but he quiets up, sipping from his glass once more as the pieces are laid out on the table. He gestures to various pieces of his and then to Delia's without saying a word, occasionally touching her arm to gain her attention for a puzzle piece.

Eirene raises a hand to greet the bride and groom, giving both a broad grin, before grabbing herself a stiff drink, a plate of food, and trying to figure out where to go in the room. Seems she walked in on a party game. Her eyebrows raise as she tries to figure out what's going on based on the rules description she caught. Seeing Symonesse she offers the Queen another equally broad smile and gives most of the seated Graysons (And Aindre - he still counts) a friendly two-fingered touch to her temple.

Ian might not be very good at puzzles, but he's perfectly comfortable with working in silence. As Denica lays out pieces, he studies them and starts to produce pieces from his own bag that, more through luck than any real skill on his part, fit with them. It's probably just the stoniness of his expression at rest combined with the intense, deeply saturated blue of his eyes, but he comes off as taking the challenge deadly serious.

"I promise I shall," says Kael to Lou, his head bowing once more in that humble way of his. His words ring sincere, unmistakably so, and his chin lifts. "May you remain close to ensure it is so, even if it is an unnecessary thing." With another nod to Lou, he shifts his attention to Medeia and inclines his head to her. "You have my gratitude nevertheless." His gaze sweeps across the little group near Highlord and Queen and his gaze lingers, but soon enough his focus is shifting to Natalia. The grin she earns is a stupidly, boyishly, happy thing.

Symonesse spots Eirene and raises up in her seat a little to wave her over with her dessert spoon, calling out, "Eirene, you need to come try this brulee. And take some home to Mab!"

Aindre Grayheart, having finished a small plate of dessert in time unbefitting of someone with a supposed noble's training in etiquette, goes on to retrieve the pouch that was earlier given to him and get it opened, pulling out the pieces and.. er.. puzzling over them! "Oh wow, the craftsmanship of these is lovely..", he says to the table he's sitting with, though he only kind of looks like he has any idea of what to do with them. That after glancing to the side, at Symonesse's own pouch, her pieces, like he's making some sort of vain attempt at copying her work before catching up to the fact that they're supposed to be working together.

2 Keaton Huntsmen, 2 Valardin Knights leave, following Kael.

Pouch secured, Medeia empties the puzzle pieces onto the table when the time comes and then uses her very expressive face to communicate wordlessly with Kastelon. There are some gestures, as well, but mostly she is making - effecitve - faces at the Keaton lord to help them through the puzzle.

Having laid out the pieces of puzzle from her velvet bag on the table, Denica glances over at Ian, but has her lips sealed. An expressive sort, Denica is the polar opposite of Ian's stoicism. She uses dramatics to express herself silently. The fellow Islander's focus is mimicked however, and she's moving the pieces about, watching to see what Ian does and what choices he makes to help complete the puzzle.

2 Keaton Huntsmen, 2 Valardin Knights arrive, following Kael.

Alis has been chattering away at the table, and based on the dishes she's had brought over to her, is intent on eating nothing but dessert this evening. All the desserts. But who is going to tell her she can't do that? But it is also puzzle time! And brought back to her childhood days of doing puzzles as /training/, she seems eager to dump out the pieces and examine them intently. "I think.. yeah, these go together!" she murmurs to Edris, blatantly stealing one of his puzzle pieces to match with one of hers.

A suspicious look at the contents of the bag when Kastelon is pouring his portion out. But methodically, he shuffles them about, sorting them. Putting them in logical spots for collection later, even as he glances at those faces being made to him by Medeia. His features, however, are little help - the Keaton huntsman has but one expression and it's a practiced, serious one, as he's gesturing back. And as he moves a piece here and there. Methodically.

Denica checks luck and performance at normal. Denica is successful.

Kastelon checks wits and investigation at normal. Kastelon is successful.

Delia checks perception and performance at normal. Delia marginally fails.

It isn't that Lark is cold, heartless, ruthless... anyway! She begins the systematic work of separating and organizing the pieces in a manner that should be perfectly clear, and she starts telling Jaerith what to do. And if he doesn't do it correctly, she lets him now. And if he does do that correctly, ?? there's nothing that needs to be said.

Ian checks perception and riddles at normal. Ian is successful.

Ann checks perception and investigation at easy. Ann is successful.

Mattheu has several plates before him that are still in the process of being *almost* licked clean, scraping with a fork to another plate as stewards seek to clear plates away and he is left to lean forwards and protect the deserts that are upon the table. "They are all far too good, leave them. Someone will enjoy them." As the puzzle bags are handed out, he's quick to open it. Fumbling a piece as a few drop into the Brulee and and torte, this doesn't stop him from blushing and picking pieces out to examine and try his best to clean each piece off by giving them a proper lick. "Ann. Does this look...? Oh that's still chocolate."

Medeia checks perception and performance at normal. Medeia is successful.

Jaerith checks perception and performance at normal. Jaerith marginally fails.

Alis checks perception and riddles at normal. Alis is successful.

Lark checks perception and investigation at normal. Lark is successful.

Ann checks perception and investigation at normal. Ann marginally fails.

Aindre checks luck and performance at normal. Aindre is successful.

Edris checks perception and performance at normal. Edris is successful.

Mattheu checks perception and riddles at normal. Mattheu is successful.

Symonesse checks wits and riddles at normal. Symonesse is successful.

Natalia return's Kael's grin with a smile of her own, tilting her head in acknowledgment of -- well, something? Then it's back to watching the rest of the room. She's done her sisterly duty by showing up. Puzzles were not part of the agreement. Drinks were, though! So was the food. Both are lightly consumed, though she seems to be enjoying it.

Ann grins at Matti and puts a finger to her lips. They are not suppose to be talking when they put this puzzle together. The first part she was fine with but as the puzzling continues she must be putting the pieces on wrong as they are just connecting with his pieces. Frowning as she tries to figure out what it is she is doing wrong.

Vandorean checks perception and performance at normal. Vandorean marginally fails.

Delia continues to move the pieces around but she just can't seem to find the one she's looking for. It's a corner piece so it should be easy but she just can't find it. She furrows her brow, lips pressing into a small moue while she continues to look for it.

Vandorean is obviously not too good at puzzles as he tries to put this one together, looking between Delia and his pieces with some concern. Smirking he holds up a corner piece, pokes Delia in the arm then hands it over. He would say something but does not want to be disqualified.

Keely looks quite pleased with herself as she watches the puzzle-doers, lingering in her seat in soft conversation with Kael here and there as she continues to sip from her drink.

As more pieces are laid out between himself and Denica, Ian shifts from just taking pieces at random and relying on luck to provide him with the correct ones to observing the splashes of color, shapes, and fractions of patterns on each piece on the table, and each piece he selects. Denica's high theatrics are probably the level of emoting necessary for him to understand, without words, what she wants him to do, and even then, there are point where he cants his head to an inquisitive angle like he's trying to puzzle her, rather than the game, out.

Somewhere along the way, Aindre accidentally gets a couple of his puzzle pieces in the right order and oh no, he absolutely cannot be stopped now. It only takes a little success to get that confidence of his rolling, and he seems to coast on said confidence through the next few puzzle pieces, just the tip of his tongue poking out the corner of his mouth as his wits work hard for him. Both of them. He grins at Symonesse there to the side of him, obviously very proud of what he's doing.

Mattheu stares at Ann with a shake of his head as she shushes him, a silly curl to smile as he looks back to pieces of puzzle and attempts to put them together. Leaning over to Ann, is he looking at what she's putting together?

Whether by subconscious rebellion or just sheer bullheadedness by the Keaton lord, Jaerith's work just HAPPENS to conflict with Lark's unspoken instruction, resulting in the man forcing a piece which is clearly not supposed to fit into place before he looks up and sees her, quickly rethinking the decision and prising the stuck pieces apart, leaving a corner a little wrinkled and kinked but otherwise not worse for the wear.

Edris finally manages to tear his eyes away from the fountain and turn totally in to the puzzle that he seems to be working on with Alis. There is a familiar thinking frown starting to crease his brow now, for those that know him, with a brief glance towards the head table, and a somewhat sheepish half-smile before he bows his head and tries to focus once more. But hey, this time the focus seems to be working and he's a little more helpful at getting a few more pieces put together.

Aconiteis approached by an Apprentice who whispers in her ear and the Radiant nods. She murmurs to her table before standing to stride off towards the doors.

Aconite has left the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Alejandro, a gravely sober middle-aged Torean leaves, following Aconite.

Eirene drifts her lazy way over to the Queen as she's beckoned. She doesn't say a word about the puzzles, but instead stops a passing servant to request the brulee for herself, and two to go. "One for Mab," she agrees "And one for my kids to fight over." Her grin is wicked and amused. She peers at the puzzles curiously but :still doesn't comment.

Lark attempts to lightly bat at the back of Jaerith's hand, like he's a child. She then leans away to get a good look at him, staring him in the eyes for quite a long moment before getting back to work.

A swallow taken from his cup, and Kastelon is making excellent progress with Medeia - wordless, as she pointed out, is not a problem for him. A piece here or there are weighed, and measured, and found wanting, but for each piece so set aside, another finds its home in the puzzle.

Medeia continues to observe the pieces in front of her and Kastelon, scanning them quickly and shaking her head or nodding. Progress is being made smoothly for the pair.

For Symonesse, it becomes very apparent very quickly that the way to succeed at puzzling is to let Aindre do all the work while she eats cake and gives him encouraging smiles. Whenever he gets one of the pieces in the right place, she gives him a bite of some dessert which might make him regret being good at this. As Eirene approaches, Symonesse lifts her gaze from the puzzle pieces and Aindre's handsome hands to say with a little laugh, "I'm going to try to sneak away with some of that chocolate torte for Alessa. Elisian doesn't like sweets." She wrinkles her nose and little and shakes her head, saying mournfully, "I think he gets that from his father, poor thing."

Jaerith checks perception and performance at hard. Jaerith is successful.

Medeia checks perception and performance at hard. Medeia is successful.

Aindre checks wits and investigation at hard. Aindre fails.

Lark checks perception and investigation at hard. Lark marginally fails.

Edris checks perception and performance at hard. Edris fails.

Kastelon checks wits and investigation at hard. Kastelon fails.

Ian checks luck and investigation at hard. Ian fails.

Alis checks perception and riddles at hard. Alis fails.

Delia checks perception and performance at hard. Delia is successful.

Ann checks perception and investigation at hard. Ann fails.

It's obvious when Denica has an idea, her eyes go wide and she sits up straight. It's like when a candle is lit, that brief spark before the flame. Most of it is just luck, there's little strategy to her puzzle making. It's her performance she continues to rely on. Hand gestures and facial expressions, seeming to catch on when Ian understands or doesn't. There's also drinking, so that might effect it a little.

Vandorean checks perception and performance at hard. Vandorean fails.

Denica checks luck and performance at hard. Botch! Denica fails completely.

Symonesse checks wits and riddles at hard. Symonesse fails.

Mattheu checks luck and performance at hard. Mattheu is successful.

Kastelon narrows his eye at the puzzle for a moment with so few pieces left. Fingertips drum at the table for a moment as he considers the few that remain, before that one hazel eye turns to Medeia.

13 House Velenosa Guards have been dismissed.

Ibasia, the Velenosa Lady-in-Waiting have been dismissed.

Ellani, the palm sized spider have been dismissed.

By the last few pieces in the puzzle, Ian has ceased to be any help whatsoever to Denica, mostly because they seem to have moved beyond his ability to read what she wants from him, wild gesticulation or no, and he has just enough awareness of this fact to be bogged down by a slow rise of frustration that has turned him sullen.

Joy, the advisor of roses arrives, following Esme.

Medeia's brows rise questioningly when Kastelon looks at her, and she pokes at the last few pieces, pressing one of them into place and urging the Keaton lord to take care of the others - they're closer to his side. Unfortunately, that gesture was made with poor regard tot he lord's impaired peripheral vision, and so she's quickly reaching to get the pieces and standing and using one hand on his upper arm to pull him along to shout out, "We finished!" Triumph!

Jaerith redeems himself by showing some rudimentary affinity for Lark's tells, though because of the earlier struggle, he seems to spend a great deal of time checking and double-checking for accuracy before hearing Medeia yell.

It's all fun and games (and bites of cake, fed to him off a fork by Symonesse whenever he does well with his puzzle pieces) until he runs into literally the first challenging piece and then all that confidence of his crumpl-.. oh, oh no it doesn't. He does stop, look a little, ah.. puzzled by a few of the pieces and considers them for a moment. He even pauses in catching Eirene eyeballing his pieces and giving him a look, then squares his jaw a little more and starts using those meaty hands of his to mash the last few pieces together in ways that probably aren't damaging but will take a little work to unlock from each other. No, the confidence is still there. "I think a few of these pieces are a little miscut..", he murmurs mostly to the table he's at, "I do love the theme though. Half a woman petting a mythical centaur. Amazing craftsmanship, despite the miscuts.", he proudly proclaims, holding it up for all to see around him.

Esme saunters into the celebration of marriage. Her emerald eyes light up with happiness as she just takes everything in. Her eyes sliding over each and every person to give a bright smile. However, Esme stays near to the door.

After she mistakenly places a few pieces, herself, Lark suddenly becomes much more magnanimous about how far her and Jaerith get with this puzzle. She says a few things to that effect, deferring to some of her partner's judgment by the end of it. SOME of it.

Lou seems to be, for the most part, simply enjoying watching the others work out the puzzle. Amusement touches her otherwise tired eyes, brightening her features for a small while. "I see the Explorers need to hold a few classes on puzzle solving," she remarks with a touch of playful mirth.

Mattheu appears to be far more interested in what the various puzzle pieces taste like than to really put them together, commenting back to Ann. "Puzzles should be noisy. How else will one know that a piece has landed in a chocolate fountain?" It must be that the piece he's holding is slippery from the Brulee as a a small corner of puzzle slips from his hand to *PLOP* so nicely into the fountain. He's left to stare at the fountain now. "I should get that."

Tesha has left the Semi-circular Bar.

Tesha is overheard praising Grayson.

Tesha is overheard praising Keaton: 10

Tesha is overheard praising Whisper.

Maybe it's the time pressure, or the brief taste of success, but something seems to have triggered a very intense concentration in Edris as he double down on focusing on the puzzle and the silent instructions and gestures that go with it. The pieces are moved about with a little more crispness than is strictly necessary, and things are coming together but perhaps more slowly than the brief rush before. They don't quite finish in time. But when Aindre holds up his puzzle, he narrows his eyes. "Are you sure that she is--" but then he stops himself. "Hm. Yes. That is precisely what that is," he agrees, sagely.

Tesha is overheard praising Keely.

Tesha is overheard praising Kael.

Alis appear too busy exchanging looks with each other to really rush on that puzzle, and before they know it... time's up. She's blissfully free of disappointment though, smothering a laugh at first, and looking almost mischievous. But when Aindre holds up the smashed together puzzle she does lose it, laughing aloud.

There's different types of art, Denica's art is abstract and it doesn't always transfers well to clear communication. It's no doubt interesting to watch, if not a bit unusual. Lots of hand gestures and then long pauses where she's no doubt internally battling some idea. Yet, she's enthusiastic enough that when she picks up one of the pieces it slips from her hand in an up and down motion and falls into her drink with a decisive plunk, slowly sinking to the bottom of the glass. The wood soaked by the alcohol and then she looks at Ian and shrugs her shoulders. "That was fun!," her smile erupts as she looks innocently away from the now sunken puzzle piece.

Tesha probably snuck away from the reception after she went to the bar. Because the woman is definitely gone by the time the game is done and winners announced!

Ann tried and tried so hard to stay focused. Only to see the missing puzzle piece jump ship and swim for the chocolate fountain. Grinning at Mattheu, "You should. That doesn't sound like a bad idea at all." Looking to see what the River Lord decides to do. She's not at all upset that their team didn't win and applauds for the ones that did.

2 Telmarine Guards leaves, following Tesha.

Ian's gaze tracks Mattheu's puzzle piece as it arcs towards the fountain. He looks at the man who 'dropped' it, and then looks at other people at his table. Symonesse. Alis. Aindre. Denica. He seems to be coming, by degrees, to a decision of some sort.

Vandorean is really trying to make it, he wants to win this contest but he and Delia just aren't fast enough. Perhaps he is too busy watching her smile or otherwise staring at the beautiful whisper beside him. At least being distracted is a good enough excuse for loosing. "Ah sorry Delia. " He finally speaks once they are allowed now that the contest is over. "Well it was a good try, at least there are gifts at the door for everyone." He holds up the bottle of whiskey he received earlier in his hand and sorta wiggles it. "I can not wait to give th is a try later on."

Symonesse isn't even touching the pieces at this point as she eats more cake and watches Aindre make things fit even when they probably shouldn't. Once the half woman petting a centaur is finished, she says with delight, "Oh, that does look nice. Well done. You are so good at puzzles!" Her eyes widen when one of Mattheu's pieces goes flying and looks at the Rivenshari, barely able to hide the mischievous twinkle in her eyes as she says with feigned dismay, "Oh, no. Looks like one of us is going to have to go in and fish it out."

Even with the contest done, Kastelon makes not a sound. Not an expression crossing his face that he's excited about the win. Just a simple nod, and a huff of breath, and a glance to Medeia before giving a satisfied nod, and a low bear-like hum of what could be assumed to be appreciation of the moment.

The staff cycle around the room, helping the remaining partners assemble their puzzles, and then all are carefully collected to be spirited away to the back, glued and mounted, and they come back with twice as many puzzles so that each person may take one home. There are no women or centaurs on these assembled puzzles, so clearly someone stole Aindre's and replaced it with a fraud!

Esme is overheard praising Keely.

Eirene starts to snigger at Aindre's interpretation. "I'd help, but, yeah. That's legit," she says with a laugh. Then her desserts arrive and she leans against the table with plate in hand to sample as recommended. "That's some good shit," she says admirably. "It's like tounge--- kissing a cloud." She was going to say something dirtier judging by her expression, but a glance at the delicate Queen stilled her more colorful reply. And puzzles in the chocolate. She's very amused now.

Esme is overheard praising Kael.

Symonesse is overheard praising Keely: What a beautiful bride!

Symonesse is overheard praising Kael: He also looked very pretty.

"My offer stands, Your Majesty." Alis, solemnly stating this for Symonesse. "Duty above all else."

Ann is overheard praising Keely.

Likely Kael is excused the fact that he happens to be focusing on Keely this whole while and not paying too much attention to the puzzle game at hand. Still, when it becomes clear that there is a winner he rises up and announces, "Well done, Lady Medeia Eswynd and Lord Kastelon Keaton!" He gestures a hand to some attendants waiting until this moment who bring forth two chests. The chests are opened to reveal a thick quantity of oakhide leather.

"I thank the Lady Eswynd and Lord Keaton, for in their alliance, demonstrating the important skills of perseverance and communication. In their union they were able to successfully solve the puzzle and acquire their bounty. I hope that this oakhide may be crafted to something that may protect yourselves or a loved one well."

Ann is overheard praising Kael.

Eirene is overheard praising Kael.

Eirene is overheard praising Keely.

Natalia is overheard praising Keely.

Natalia is overheard praising Kael.

Alis is overheard praising Kael.

Alis is overheard praising Keely.

Delia snaps the final pieces in place. "Oh," she says, gaze sweeping across their puzzle, "It's an oak tree and a griffin. How lovely. Look at all the color they used in the leaves," she points out to Vandorean with a grin, not dismayed it the least that they didn't place first.

Edris is overheard praising Kael: May you walk in faith and honor together, but I am happiest for your joy, Cousin!

While most of her table remains, Natalia rises, offering a few quiet words to the others before she slips back out by herself.

Sis, a redheaded morning person leaves, following Natalia.

"We chose this game because it demonstrates very clearly how difficult it is to accomplish anything on our own, or without clear communication with those around us. Unity amongst all of us who comprise the Compact is more crucial than ever. We hope you will take this lesson home with you along with these puzzles, and take them to heart." Keely smiles warmly at the gathering before clearing her throat softly and looking aside to Kael. "Now! Lessons and solemnity aside, I think I would like a dance with my husband, and I would like the rest of you to join us!"

And with that, the band strikes up an elegant waltz, and guests are free to mingle, to eat, to drink, to dance to their hearts content.

Symonesse stops with her fork raised halfway up to her mouth and then just -looks- at Ian. She drops her fork and, with a heavy sigh, as if she really didn't want it to come to this, the Queen rises from the table, removes her jewelry to place it in a neat pile next to her mostly empty plates, and turns to walk toward the fountain, calling out, "Looks like it is time to swim, Alis!"

Briefly, Kastelon inclines his head to Medeia. "Thank you for asking me to be part of this game." And then a turn to Keely and Kael, as he more deeply bows his head to them as well. "Cousins. Thank you." And then another swallow from his cup, before the watchful hazel eye sweeps the room, protectively.

When the prizes for winning are brought out, Medeia's eyes widen. "Oh, Marquis, this is too kind. And... I am going to have to, respectfully, forward mine on to the good lord who accepted my ribbing into participating." She glances at Kastelon with an appreciative smile before looking back at Kael and Keely. "I have never been able to pay anything close to a proper thank you to him for his stalwart support throughout the civil war. He does your house great honor, and I insist my share of the oakhide go to him for his protection." Then she is finding another drink to keep her occupied.

Edris is overheard praising Keely: May your brightness light the path that you will tread together. Welcome to the family.

Ripley's making his way into the ballroom, clean faced and lacking the beard. He is clear eyed and look at peace instead of the manic that have taken him of late. His clothing is neat and tidy too. He pokes his head up, looking here and there for familiar faces and trying hard to ignore he's in a sea of nobles.

Ian returns Symonesse's look, absolutely deadpan. Someone who didn't know to look for the very slight crinkling at the corners of his eyes might even describe his expression as 'stern'. Nothing that starts to happen after seems to come as a surprise to him.

Delia is overheard praising Keely.

Delia is overheard praising Kael.

Vandorean rises from the table then as everyone seems to be heading out or mingling. "Well we lost fair and square Delia but indeed it looks nice. Perhaps we should practice building some puzzles later on, so that the next time we are bound to win? No, with my luck the next will be something completely unrelated to puzzles. "

Vandorean is overheard praising Keely.

Vandorean is overheard praising Kael.

Alis is duty bound to follow suit then, of course. She also carefully removes her jewelry. Though, an anklet remains in place as if it's some sacred item she refuses to remove. But she does take off her shoes as well. "As you say, Your Majesty. Where you go, I follow." Though she tries to keep her expression stern and solemn, the corners of her lips twitch upward. She's /going/ to do this.

Jaerith is overheard praising Keely.

Jaerith is overheard praising Kael.

Jaerith is overheard praising Lark.

Ann is overheard praising Mattheu.

Ann is overheard praising Medeia.

Mattheu looks to Symonesse and Alis as the jewelry starts to come off with a nod over to Aindre, "If the fountain is withholding then it should be sought after." There's a bit of mirth in his words as he looks to Ann now, "A dance sounds lovely."

Ann is overheard praising Kastelon.

Delia stands with Vandorean, taking his arm once again. "Perhaps we should," the Whisper laughs, "Fret not. I'm no good with them either. The most important part is that we had fun and we got to celebrate the wedding." She nudges Van as they walk.

Eirene shoots Ian a silent question of "what did you do" as she crams the tempting brulee into her mouth. Her gaze drifts to Alis and the queen. "My kids have dreamed of doing something like that..."

Kael is pausing when Medeia speaks, his head tilting when she speaks of Kastelon. His focus moves on to his cousin and he bows his head in that humble way to the man. Medeia is offered a nod as well, of course, after his chin lifts. The Keaton might not say anything, but the words are absolutely heard. There is his wife though, requesting that dance, and so he takes a step back and bows properly to her before stepping forward and offering his arm to her. It is when the couple that are walking onto the dance floor that he spies the Archlector of Limerance. In a way, it might be fitting, but he pauses there and bows to the member of the Faith as well before proceeding to the dance floor.

Ann looks to those at her table and the talk of the chocolate fountain. But now Mattheu is talking of a dance and she nods in his direction. Her own bells being heard. She tells him, "If you really want to go see what is wrong with the chocolate fountain and find that puzzle piece the dance can wait." This also means that she may be dancing with a chocolate man shortly.

Edris seems content to be the keeper of jewelry, should Alis need it. With a glance and a shake of the head to Aindre, a faint smile forming on his features, he rises--though gives the Queen and Highlord a head start, before getting ready to keep an eye on things a span of paces behind. "Are you certain you do not wish to give it a try, my lady," he offers gallantly to Eirene. "It might be a good time for it, since I am certain most eyes will be focused...elsewhere. It is not every day that one can make little ones /jealous/, after all."

Lou flashes one last smile over to Kael and Keely, then rises from her seat after the dancing is announced. Without her partner, this particular Grayson isn't much for dancing at all. She murmurs farewells to those at the table, waves in Aindre's direction, then moves toward the exit.

Ian does his best to maintain his flat, Very Serious Business expression when Eirene looks at him, but he's never been much of a liar, and it shows through now; a sharp grin starts to break through, sparking first in his eyes.

'Why are swimming in the fountain..." Ripley asks, coming up upon Alis, Symonesse and the removing of jewelry, a slightly confused look on his face.

Vandorean walks around with Delia, his arm held out for her. "Well we could go for a dance I suppose. If you like that sort of thing?" He arches a brow then waits to see the ladies response.

Esme smiles vibrantly towards Kael and Keely as he notices her. She lifts her hand to wave to the couple but her attention is moving towards Ian and then towards the chocolate fountain.

Mattheu's bells sing out loudly throughout the room as he nods to Ann and gets up to follow Alis and Symonesse to the fountain, "It was the small piece of a corner and had some of the torte on it." He's attempting to be *helpful* to the finding of the puzzle piece.

Aindre's left brow rises a touch higher in tandem with the Queen's own rising out of her chair, then he shoots a look at Ian for a moment, apparently CATCHING UP on what has transpired while still obviously riding the high of putting his beautiful puzzle together and so well, too. "You're not really goin-..", he starts to say, before Symonesse is marching off toward the fountain and calling for Alis' support in the endeavor and there he goes, despite a little rosiness emphasizing itself upon his cheeks for some strange reason. He ends up rather walking alongside Edris, giving the man a laughing sort of look without actually laughing. "The lengths we go to for the protection of the realm.", he tells the other man, seemingly prepared to follow, to rescue or to join, whichever comes first.

Delia gives Van a sidelong glance. "In a minute," says she as she leads Vandorean past the Keaton table to make their farewell. "Marquis, Marquessa-Consort. Congratulations on your joyous day. What a beautiful wedding."

In any other circumstance, Symonesse might have been tempted out of her current course of action by the offering of dancing, but when one makes a threat, one has to follow up on it. She glances to Eirene and Ripley and shakes her head, offering by way of explanation, "I warned him not to talk about 'business' or I was going to jump in the chocolate fountain to change the subject." She kicks off her shoes to lay under the table and gathers up the excess fabric of her skirt in one hand while reaching for Alis' hand with the other. "Into the breach!"

"My Edris," Eirene replies to the lord who shared a name with her son," would have a cow.- as the saying goes." She sniggers and cocks her head as Symonesse explains her rationale. "I can't steal this from her," she continues to Edris. "Look how happy she is," she smiles.

"And it would therefore be dishonorable to not follow through." Alis looks /so/ serious when she says it, somehow managing to keep a calm and regal expression on her face while she clasps one hand with Symonesse' and the other lifts the fabric of her skirt. "For Her Majesty, the Queen!" Yes, it's a battle cry. Shouted just before they start to run for their leap into the chocolate fountain. Hope nobody's in splash range!

There is amusement that flickers in Ann's features as she sees how many people are approaching the chocolate fountain now. She won't be one of them. This dress of hers is too pretty to get chocolate on it. Or she just likes watching other people have fun and delve into things they don't usually get to do. She will stay behind and guard all items left at the table.

The look Aindre shoots him is finally what breaks Ian's composure. A grin breaks through, and he exhales a sharp breath through his nose, a single huff of silent laughter. He gives his friend a helpless shrug that doesn't even nod vaguely in the direction of apology.

"Oh" is all Ripley offers before looking for a server or a whisper, scurrying off in search of someone to bring him towels or something for Alis and Symonesse to wrap themselves in and protect the floor from... chocolate? Chocolate it seems.

Kastelon watches the goings on with nary a lifted brow. Another swallow of his cider as a breath's heaved, and... a glance to the floor beside him, before he remembers himself and looks further again. "At least it is not winter," he says lowly, to himself as much as to anyone else.

Reaching for a fresh drink, Denica takes a sip and her eyes widen as she watches the pieces fly. The departure of the Queen and Alis towards the chocolate fountain has her lips curling into an appreciative smile. "Who hasn't wanted to swim in chocolate? At least once!," she sips her drink and lets her attention drift to the room. Beaming a smile across the length of it to those gathered there. "Such a lovely affair," she says of the wedding, only to catch Alis as she runs and leaps towards the fountain and she cannot help but laugh joyously. Denica applauds, "Bravo!," she says enthusiastically

"Indeed," Edris says, sotto voce and with a very straight faced expression, to Aindre, but there's an easiness and understanding to his demeanor as he walks side by side with him. Is he surprised by Symonesse delicately gathering up her skirts and Alis seemingly ready to cannonball? No, no he is not. And in his unfun Edris way, he is indeed just barely /outside/ of splash range. Eirene, here's your chance!

Lou has left the Round guest table draped in lace and silk.

Willen leaves, following Lou.

While everyone else's attention is on Alis and Symonesse, Keely's is solely focused upon Kael Keaton as she follows him out to the dance floor. The newlywed pair turn to face one another, share a bow and a curtsey, and begin to enjoy their first waltz together as man and wife.

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